Marriage preparation is too often thought of as a list of things to do in order to walk down the aisle. The reality is the day of your wedding is not an ending, but a beginning. So you’re preparing not just for a day of great celebration but for a lifetime together. Sadly, while spending countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars on the wedding, most couples do little by way of preparing for the marriage.
Marriage preparation is building, strengthening and healing the foundation of your relationship. And it doesn’t end on the day of your wedding either. Marriage preparation goes until your fifth anniversary. Here’s why.
The myriad of things you need to talk about now – living together, finances, in-laws, religious practice, sex, children, holidays, even pets – become lived realities in those first five years. Having ironclad beliefs or unspoken expectations about how these things should be is a recipe for disaster, yet so often this is the case.
This reality is borne out in the fact that there is a spike in divorce rates in years 2-4 – while all this stuff is getting worked out… or not. Engaging in marriage preparation provides the opportunity to address these issues on the front end, becoming the greatest buffer to divorce in those early years. In fact, these programs can reduce divorce rates by up to 30%. We also know that if you make it to year 5, the likelihood of divorce drops significantly, possibly as low as 10%.
So whether you’re committed, engaged or in those first five years of marriage, invest now in the foundation for your marriage. Past five years? No worries… there’s always time to do some good retrofitting. Give that Valentine’s Day gift that will really be memorable – I invite you to attend my next “Start Right, Stay Connected” workshop where you’ll have the opportunity to build the tools necessary to create a happy, healthy and lasting marriage!